Lucia Silvestri is bursting with creativity every time we meet with her. And despite the challenging times that we are all facing, this (virtual) meeting is no different.
The Creative Director is presenting the new Barocko High Jewellery collection. Inspired by the beauty of Rome, this colourful offering is a bold and brave approach to high jewellery design, sharing a message of joy and positivity.
It’s hard not to smile looking at these jewels and Silvestri is a perfect example of that as she beams, taking us through some of the key pieces of this exquisite collection. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation, many clients can’t make it to Rome to see the pieces for themselves, however, Bvlgari has been working on ways to share these show-stopping pieces with their customers all around the world even when they can’t physically connect with them.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF LUCIA’S INSPIRATION HERE…
Here Lucia Silvestri, Creative Director at Bvlgari talks us through the collection and some of the challenges she faces in her role moving during this period.
As work starts to resume how was your time in lockdown and what is a lesson you have learnt throughout this situation?
It’s been a very complicated moment. To begin with, it was very, very hard for me because I was used to travelling a lot, so I felt like a bird trapped in a cage! But I have had a lot of time to think, read, listen to music and spend time focusing on myself. The creativity didn’t stop. I was connected with my team more or less every day and we talked a lot about creativity and new projects, so we were keeping the momentum strong. As the lockdown lifted I started to take long walks around the city of Rome and I was able to appreciate how beautiful it is and how it can inspire me even more. I have realised that the most important thing is quality – the quality of life. I think people are looking for quality.
Rome has always been a major element of inspiration to Bvlgari, especially to your creations – what can you tell us about Barocko and the beautiful creations that make up the collection?
It’s a shame that I can’t share the emotion that we have when touching the jewellery but I can try to recreate that feeling.
This is a necklace that represents the style and art of Barocko. It is a new combination of colours including Paraiba tourmaline and pink and purple sapphires. This is the first time we have combined these gemstones. I actually started this necklace with completely different stones and I was never convinced that I had the right combination. Then when I found the Paraiba I thought that we could combine the green with pink as this is a combination I like very much; so we put these three colours together. Barocko for us is about light, colour and wonder, and in this necklace, you can find all these three elements altogether. The back of the necklace is amazing because there are so many curves and the craftsmanship was really challenging. This could be an advantage of the lockdown because I was here in Rome so I was able to follow up on the craftsmanship.
What we can see here is a fine balance between elegance and extravagance – how did you manage to put it together?
When I started with the original stones I explained my suggestion to the designer. I told him that I was thinking about a collection that was very elegant and feminine. So he started to do a few sketches. It was at that point that I started to work with the right gems because we had to balance the harmony between metal and gems and it needed to be extravagant but also very feminine and sensual, as well as representing Bvlgari. For me, Barocko is Bvlgari. It was natural to go deep into this theme and I loved it from the beginning.
In this necklace, you can see there are huge gems. So the main challenge was to keep the piece light in terms of weight. When I first received these stones, my idea was to create different rings, because each large stone can be a ring or a pendant. But when I learned that the theme was Barocko, I thought that I could use all of these gems together because they are different but similar in a way so they work together. The main challenge here was to not have a piece that was too heavy. So we used different cuts around the stones – we have baguettes that are full of life – small mirrors surrounding the stones. It is 600-carats in total.
What is your favourite piece among this collection?
I am in love with this collection as you can imagine, but this time a piece that I love the most is a ring: The Joyful Colour. I want this ring for myself! This is my favourite piece and something that I would wear. At the beginning, I saw this stone when it was rough. It is a green tourmaline and if you look closely you’ll see there is a little bit of yellow inside. When I saw the rough stone I told the owner that it was this yellow colour that I wanted; not green with a touch of blue, but green with a touch of yellow. So he found a way to cut the stone with a little bit of yellow inside and we created this ring. The necklace that goes with it is inspired by a vintage piece but it is much easier to wear than the original.
What were some of the monuments in Rome that inspired these creations?
This is a very personal story. When we decided that the theme would be Barocko I went to Piazza Navona one day at 7am in August and I was there alone. I spent an hour walking around the Piazza and took so many pictures and came back with a great inspiration. So this is where it all started.
With the current global situation, what are some of the challenges you are facing in sourcing stones and materials?
From the beginning of lockdown I was in touch with the suppliers every day, talking about the gems. But the challenge now is that we don’t buy gems without seeing them physically. We cannot buy them just from a picture, especially the coloured gems. So they have started to send them on consignment and I can check them here, and then if we like them we buy them and if we don’t like them we send them back. This is the approach we are using at the moment as I start to work on the new collection.
Can you tell us anything about the upcoming collection?
I cannot say a lot, but I love the idea and it’s an idea that we developed together with the marketing department. It’s a natural evolution of Barocko, but I cannot say more.
How are you staying close to your clients during this time?
This is the most difficult part of this situation. We are connecting with video calls and we keep in touch of course, but it’s very different. We send videos to our clients and check in on them but it is not the same when it is in person.
What are your plans for the summer and will you be travelling?
This year I want to promote Italy. I already went on a short vacation to Puglia, which was amazing because it’s such an inspiring place. I travel a lot, but maybe I don’t know my own country too well. It is a country where you can discover the world. It has everything. So this year I’m going to spend a few days with my mom in the mountains in the North of Italy. Then see some friends in another part of Italy and I’m planning to go to Sicily.
What is it that you still aim to achieve that you haven’t done yet?
In general, I want to find more time for me. I am looking for quality of life. Of course, I miss my trips around the world because that is something I love to do, but I think at least until the end of this year, we should think about our quality of life and our real values like family and friends and I think this is what I want to continue, but without forgetting the creativity.
If you were granted three wishes what would you wish for?
I wish that we could be safe, healthy and more sensitive to the problems of people.
What would you like to tell you clients in the Middle East?
I love my clients in the Middle East, we have the same feeling and attitude to life. I miss them a lot and I would really like to come back soon. I send a big hug to everybody.